Greek nationalists attack Turkish family while yelling ‘they are Macedonian’
Yorgo KIRBAKİ - Athens
A Turkish family, who went to the Greek city of Thessaloniki for a weekend holiday, has been attacked by a Greek ultra-nationalist group who thought they were Macedonians.
Turkish citizen Mehmet Özeren arrived in Thessaloniki on Sept. 8 with his wife and two children. After parking their car at Tsimiski Street, the family started to walk to the coast when they found themselves in a protest by more than 5,000 ultranationalists, titled “Macedonia is Greek.”
The group, which attacked nearby cars and shops while clashing with the police, also targeted the Turkish family.
According to Özeren, one protester yelled, “They are Macedonian” before the attack. “We ran for our lives,” Özeren said, adding they hid inside an apartment building as several protesters followed them.
One of the residents of the building resisted the attackers, who attempted to break the door, and took the Turkish family to his apartment.
The family called Turkey’s consulate in Thessaloniki and Greek police soon came and rescued them.
While their car was seriously damaged in the attack, Özerens left Greece unscathed but terrorized.
“My wife and daughter are still in shock. We are very scared but we have saved our lives,” Özeren said.